tv Politics Nation MSNBC August 7, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
"politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, republicans playing politics with national security. president obama has ordered 19 embassies and consulates to be closed due to a potential threat. and stepped up drone attacks on terrorists overseas. today he spoke to marines in california about the threat we still face. >> because of you, osama bin laden is no more. because of you "caught on camera's" top ranks have been hammered. even though the decimated the al qaeda leadership that attacked us on 9/11, al qaeda affiliates and like-minded extremists still threaten our homeland, still threaten our diplomatic
facilities, still threaten our businesses abroad. we've got to take these threats seriously and do all we can to confront them. >> as we speak american diplomats and members of the military are serving in harm's way overseas. it's time for us all to unite. but some republican politicians think it's time to take pot shots at the president. >> it causes our allies to be concerned. >> these al qaeda types are on steroids thinking we're weaker. >> you don't have to close your embassies like cowards to go running away. >> a bunch of cowards? that's beyond offensive. and some right wing pundits think the terror threat is just another excuse to attack the president. >> they're lying to themselves. they've been lying to us. >> a year ago the president said al qaeda is on the run.
and now we seem to be on the run. >> some have criticized the closings as, you know, running and hiding when the u.s. should be standing its ground prepared to fight. >> where does the truth lie about the so-called imminent threat in the middle east? >> so-called threat? do these right wingers need a reminder of what's at stake here? 15 years ago today al qaeda terrorists bombed our embassies in east africa. more than 200 people were killed including 12 americans. 12 years ago yesterday president george w. bush got a memo entitled bin laden determined to strike in the u.s. a month later nearly 3,000 people died in the worst terrorist attack in u.s. history. americans want their frf to be vigila vigilant. they don't want right wingers trying to score cheap political points while he's trying to keep
us safe. joining me now is former democratic congressman patrick murphy. the first iraq war vet to serve in congress. and karen finney, host of "disrupt" here on msnbc. thank you both for joining me. >> thanks, rev. >> thanks, rev. >> congressman, one republican lawmaker said closing the embassies was done like a bunch of cowards. what's your reaction to that? >> well, you know, i just think it's disgraceful, to be honest with you. these are guys that are the biggest chicken hawks in the world. all they want to do is criticize, criticize, criticize. it's a knee jerk reaction. whatever president obama says, they do the opposite. now, they should stop this crap when we're talking about the national security, the safety of our diplomats. being a diplomat overseas is not an easy job. neither is being a soldier. i would just say, you know, karen's boyfriend is over in afghanistan right now in harm's
way. these are the type of heroes that are over there fighting for us. the last thing we should be doing is not being unified here at home. >> and, you know, karen, i was going to bring that up. your boyfriend's in afghanistan. do they even think about the human side of this? people who have loved ones who are on the front lines protecting all of us regardless of our politics. and how they feel going through all this partisan bickering when there is clearly a threat there that the president and those intelligence leaders and officers of this country have. shouldn't we also be thinking about the human side of this? >> of course we should. but it seems the republicans only think of it in terms of what kind of hearing can we get out of this? what kind of trouble can we cause for the administration? to your point and what patrick was just saying, it's the people on the front lines. it's their families and loved one also worried. this is the republican trying to
have it both ways. and you -- i'm sure the president knew when he made this decision he was likely to get hit. but you have to do what you think is the right thing to do for the security and safety of people. it was nice to see over the weekend for a moment we had a little bit of bipartisanship where there was agreement that the intelligence they were receiving was very concerning and there did seem to be the reason to close the embassies. but then a couple days later as always seems to happen, they flip back to politics. >> let me show you, congressman, how far they flip back. they started accusing the obama administration of revealing our secrets to the terrorists through this terrorist alert. look at this. >> if the white house is revealing secrets to make the white house look good, the revelation which tips off our hand to the enemy, that's not good. >> so now is the fellow members of the board of terrorists inc. now know not to use that form of communication again because it's
been compromised. why in the world leak this? i'll tell you why leak it. they leak it to as to make obama look big. and competent. and tough. >> now, this is where congress goes from the absurd to the bizarre. first of all, do you think al qaeda doesn't know that we're spying on them? i mean, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out of course al qaeda knows that they're being surveilled. but secondly, are they trying to suggest or even say blatantly that this is all some pr image builder for the president when you have human lives at stake? as i said, people died in embassies 15 years ago today. 12 years ago george bush got a memo and we all know what happened there. this is not a game. >> this isn't a game. this is people's lives, rev. that's why it's so critically important. at the end of the day, i'm not
going to listen to rush limbaugh on national security. let's face it. when it was his turn to serve, he got out of vietnam because he had pimples on his butt. these guys on the far right wing of the republican party have to stop drinking the hater-ade. it's wrong and disgraceful. >> now -- yes, karen? >> i was going to say the other thing is this is dangerous. they're con flating a lot of different things. there's core al qaeda, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. but we also know there are these affiliate groups that claim to be part of al qaeda and some are and some aren't. the point being, we have to monitor all of that. that is our new reality. >> and some of the other groups could be more dangerous trying to establish themselves. last night the president was on jay leno. and he answered some of his criti critics. watch this. >> what do you say to those cynics saying this is an overreaction to benghazi? how do you respond to that? >> one thing i've tried to do as
president is not overreact. but make sure that as much as possible the american people understand that there are genuine risks out there, but there are things that we can do to make sure that we're keeping the pressure on these networks that would try to injure americans and the first thing i think about when i wake up and the last thing i think about when i go to bed is i'm doing everything to keep americans safe. >> there's a delicate balance here that the president and his national security team are having to balance between keeping people safe, making sure they're not revealing information, but also not -- we know what happens when we don't connect the dots. we've lived through that. i think the pressure is high on any president to make sure that we're getting all the information we can, that we're paying attention. also to how these networks are changing and shifting. it feels like republicans are stuck back in that sort of 9/11
mentality not recognizing that these threats are changing. that's what we're trying to speak to. >> congressman, the right is trying to have it both ways. because at first they're saying these so-called threats. they're saying, you know, this was an image builder. then after the president goes on jay leno to try his own way to reassure the american people as he makes these steps, here's the headline today on fox nation. the web page of fox news.com. commander in chief or entertainer in chief? obama yucks it up with leno as terror threats mount. all of a sudden there are real terror threats and the president shouldn't have been on leno. they don't know whether they're coming or going. >> you're right, rev. and the last time the president was on national tv telling jokes, i think it was two years ago during a white house correspondent's dinner, the night we took out bin laden. so i wish he would tell jokes on
tv all the time. we'd be safer here at home. but the point i want to make, because karen's right about this. we have hit al qaeda hard on the president's leadership. but they are now spread out. that's why we have to be dutiful to keep us safe. >> congressman murphy, thank you for that. karen finney, thank you for your time tonight. and be sure to catch karen on "disrupt" saturdays and sundays at 4:00 p.m. eastern. right here on msnbc. ahead, police in new york city are stopping anyone they say looks suspicious. but it's a policy with an 88% failure rate. david hornlik has been stopped and frisked more than ten times. his story is next. and remember when attacking the first lady was off limits? that's all changed with michelle
obama. it's been ugly and offensive. but today they're eating their words in a big way. and here's president obama. he makes another appearance on the tonight show and has the gop trying to copy his late night strategy. and what is on your mind? have a question or comment about anything? e-mail me. friend or foe i want to know. reply al is coming. my asthma's under control. i don't miss out... you sat out most of our game yesterday! asthma doesn't affect my job... you were out sick last week. my asthma doesn't bother my family... you coughed all through our date night! i hardly use my rescue inhaler at all. what did you say? how about - every day? coping with asthma isn't controlling it. test your level of control at asthma.com,
compassionate nature. the president's comments on trayvon martin prompted a lot of comments too. andrew said we need to learn from that tragedy. we need to talk about race. more on that coming up later. but first, we want you to hear what you think -- and we want to hear what you think. please head over to facebook and search "politicsnation." and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. [ whispering ] uh! i had a nightmare!
the house caught fire and we were out on the streets. [ whispering ] shhh. it's only a dream. and we have home insurance. but if we made a claim, our rate would go up... [ whispering ] shhh. you did it right. you have allstate claim rate guard so your rates won't go up just because of a claim. [ whispering ] are we still in a dream? no, you're in an allstate commercial. so get allstate home insurance with claim rate guard... [ whispering ] goodnight. there are so many people in our bedroom. [ dennis ] talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] ...and let the good life in. we're back with breaking news on the police practice of
racial profiling known as stop and frisk. the new york police department has just agreed to purge a database containing the names and addresses of all the innocent people stopped under the program. it's part of a settlement ending a state lawsuit against the department. it's a big step forward, but there's a lot more to be done. since 2002, new york city police have conducted more than 5 million stop and frisks. 88% of those stopped were black or latino. 88% of those stopped did not result in an arrest or summons. that's right. 88% of those people that were stopped were completely innocent. those aren't just numbers. they represent real people. people like alvin who recorded audio of himself being stopped by police officers back in 2011.
>> you again, man. >> i just got stopped two blocks ago. >> you look very suspicious. >> cause you're always looking at me crazy. >> you keep looking back. you want to go to jail? >> what for? >> shut your [ bleep ] mouth. >> what am i getting arrested for? >> for being a [ bleep ] mutt. >> that tape is new york city policemen talking to him. the officer said this man looked suspicious. he called him a mutt. that's the kind of harassment faced by people of color every day. check out this video of a man who was stopped and frisked at a barber shop this past april. >> why are you stopping and frisking me? >> let me see your i.d. >> why are you stopping me? i'm going to give him my i.d.
relax. don't touch me, man. i was going to give him my i.d. >> these are not isolated incidents. it's the daily reality faced by people in new york and all across the country. >> a lot of times i ask them what's the reason for you stopping me, they don't have an answer. they say just turn around. >> why me? i didn't do anything. i'm just cruising. >> i do get stopped. it makes me feel like i have no types of rights or anything like that. >> it's the most dominated you can really feel standing on two feet is having your hands on the
wall, having somebody patting you up and down and somebody else surveilling and documenting it. >> stopped for no reason. this practice is unfair and unjust. that's why a federal lawsuit has been filed against the new york police department and the city of new york demanding an end of racial profiling. joining me now is attorney for the center for constitutional rights. the group that filed the lawsuit. and one of the plaintiffs in the ca case. thank you for being here. david, you've been stopped and frisked over 15 times in the past 10 years. tell me about that. >> i mean, you saw a lot of it on the screen on the clips you showed. it's hard to express what it -- you know, what it is to go through that on a daily basis.
and to know that you have that coming for you in the future. you know, it's -- it's a hard thing to get across -- for people to understand. >> it's hard for people that have not gone through this to understand. especially when you've done nothing wrong. i mean, you're doing the normal, regular thing any citizen does. and all of a sudden you constantly are stopped by police. give people an example of what happened. >> one of the incidents i was helping my friend move some stuff in his apartment. he went outside to smoke a cigarette. we're sitting in front of his building and police start running at us with their guns drawed. they said everybody get on the floor. then a paddy wagon pulled up and six other cops came out. and we got on the floor. they just, like, threw the stuff that was in our hands on the floor. i could feel the guns being
pointed at me. >> guns pointed at you? >> at me. >> and nothing criminal was done. >> he said there was a gun in the area. no gun was found. they wrote our names and said have a nice day. this happens all the time. it's not just -- >> now, sunita, center for constitutional rights that filed this lawsuit have been involved in civil rights activities like i have and to be very transparent, i've been one of the big critics of stop and frisk and rallied about it. but we are not saying that we're not conscious of crime. we are clearly wanting crime stopped. what you're really saying, though, is that innocent people are being disproportionately stopped to the point of harassment. and they're being profiled. explain the lawsuit. >> that's right. we just ended a nine to ten week historic trial against the largest police department in the country. it's one of e the first time
that a large police department has been put on trial for a systemic practice like this. and we're saying that racial profiling must end. >> now, the mayor and the police commissioner have defended this practice. listen to this. >> facing the belief that the department should be run according to the standards of political correctness, not public safety. i can't imagine any rational person saying that the techniques are not working and that we should stop them. >> people may not be happy with it, but i can also assure you that i know people want more. >> now, david, are you a rational person? i mean, i know that maybe some of us activists are considered irrational. are you rational? >> i would like to think so. that's insulting. i'm a new yorker. i was born and raised here. i don't plan going anywhere else. in my opinion this is the
greatest city in the world. and to know that people that represent the hierarchy of this, it is not okay. >> what are people in your community, on the ground feeling because of this issue? >> well, most of the people i grew up with and friends, this is what we deal with on a day-to-day basis. this is not something that is foreign. it's going to keep happening like i said. and it's -- you know, nobody wants to see their children or their loved ones be abused by anybody let alone the people that are supposed to protect them. >> now, one of the things that was interesting to me about your case, sunita, is you actually had a new york officer polanco has blown the whistle on stop and frisk. saying it's all about filling a quota. let me show the public this.
>> we're stopping kids walking from school. we stop kids walking upstairs to their house. we're walking kids from going to the stop. kids. young adults. >> in order to keep your activity -- >> in order to keep that quota. >> now, this was a new york city police officer saying that they would stop people anywhere because they had to make a quota. >> that's right. one of the interesting things about our case is whistle blower officers like polanco made our case for us. they said there is a pressure to perform stops and frisks against blacks and latinos. the city says that this is about crime reduction. and it's about going to certain neighborhoods. but the community knows and these officers know the truth. >> you also had an audiotape where they actually identified the commander saying young blacks. so -- and the other thing is, it is not even working as the mayor said in determines of reducing
crime. only 0.12% of stops resulted in gun seizures. so it's not even working. and the mayor and commissioner, we've worked on other areas. but we adamantly disagreed on this. racial profiling is wrong and isn't even working. >> it's ineffective. it's a fail yaur. 99% failure rate. would we stand for schools with that failure rate? we wouldn't. >> well a federal judge is going to make a ruling any day now. thank you both for your time and your work on this case. >> thank you. coming up, why president obama's late night strategy works. plus big news today on michelle obama's let's move anti-obesity campaign. has all the right wing critics eating crow and they should be eating a lot of it.
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that's right. yanzi from the san diego zoo. just celebrated his fourth birthday. and the nra considers him and the rest of the liberal do gooders at the zoo to be threats to freedom. this new enemies list also includes the los angeles zoo and the california condor recovery team. all groups that the nra claims are attacking their god-given right to use lead bullets. needless to say the nra is way off the mark. but they pulled this one before. earlier this year we learned about an enemies list that included the aarp, hallmark, ben & jerry's, levi's, and sara lee desserts. they were also afraid of bon jovi, britney spears, jerry
seinfeld, shania twain, and jack nicholson, and sean connery. i'm not sure why the nra thinks all these folks are so scary, but then again, it's usually hard to figure out what the nra is thinking. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in your school to protect our children, then call me crazy. >> call you crazy? i'll take a pass on that one. did the nra think we'd ignore their latest dive off the deep end? nice try, but we got you. and leave the poor pandas alone. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones.
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she's promoted healthy eating even with events at the white house garden. she's done a fitness challenge with jimmy fallon to promote exercise. and now her let's move campaign is even teaming up with artists on a hip hop album that encourage kids to get healthy. these are great ideas, right? i mean, who could be against exercise? against eating right? anyone? >> she's demanding that everybody basically eat card board and tofu. it doesn't look like michelle obama follows her own diet advice. >> why would you want to raise your own kids when michelle obama will do it for you? >> by the way, we have video of her husband the smoker -- let's see. he's eating hot dogs. more junk food. look at that. you know? how about we start at home
instead of lecturing us. >> what she's telling us is parents cannot make decisions for what their kids eat. leave us alone. get off our backs. >> attacking the first lady for taking a stand against a real problem? how long can they go? but today the first lady's getting the last laugh. the cdc reports that for the first time in decades childhood obesity rates are falling in many states. the report even mentions the let's move campaign as a contributing factor. looks like the right's eating their words. joining me now are goldie taylor and patricia murphy. thank you both for coming on the show. >> thank you. >> hi, thanks for having me. >> goldie, is this for real? attacking the first lady for trying to keep children healthy? >> unfortunately, it is for
real. first lady obama actually launched the let's move program at my church here in atlanta in alpharetta. she came down here to talk about healthy eating, eating right, exercising. i remember when the trend was against including exercise and recess in the elementary schools. and so this isn't about new regulation. this is about inspiring parents to do what's right by their children. and at the end of the day, it saves us all money. it taxes the public health care system less when a person learns good healthy habits early. they take that with them throughout life. so there are fewer incidents of diabetes, heart disease, asthma gets checked. there are other pathologies that stream from childhood obesity that this helps. >> patricia, you know, when you really look at it, they've attacked this first lady just about anything. listen to this. they've even attacked her for
taking part in the oscars. >> but there's michelle obama! hey, how are you? >> well -- >> you know, it's a pure propaganda play to make them glamorous. >> it has gotten so bad, they had to send moochelle out there in a lady gaga-type getup. she went shopping at target. >> the most marie antoinette i have seen of anything with michelle obama, did you see the dress she was wearing when she toured the oil spill? >> we don't like paying millions of dollars for mr. obama's vacations. that's a little bit of a waste. they understand it's a little bit of uppity-ism. >> aside from everything else, wasn't this like off limits attacking the first lady? isn't this unusual to have this kind of vociferous attack
against the first lady of the united states? >> i think it is unusual, but i think that this white house has gotten an unusual level of attacks from the right. really since before president obama was the president. and i think what i don't understand about this particular criticism of michelle obama and her let's move campaign is that this is 100% voluntary. not one new regulation. not one new law. not one piece of legislation. and michelle obama is actually working with the private sector, working with companies like walmart encourage families. it's by educating people and educating people about health and healthy habits as really we know the best way to encourage them. it's giving them the tools and helping them have access to healthy foods. that's what walmart was doing. they did that with michelle obama as a partner. so i don't know where the criticism of this particular campaign comes from. reagan had a campaign, barbara bush had a campaign. they all have campaigns. this is a particularly good one.
>> and it seems to be working. but let me go back to you, goldie, with this one. rush limbaugh has repeatedly used the first lady's campaign to attack her personally. listen to this. >> we have a name for michelle. moochelle. mooch, mooch, moochelle obama. if you're telling everybody to eat twigs and berries and gravel and all this stuff, you better look like an ethiopian. obama doesn't have a butt. compared to his wife, he really doesn't have a butt. >> i mean, this is just personal and so disrespectful to the first lady of the land. to attack her in these personal kind of vitriolic statements. >> certainly, rev lend al. i'm a former marine, but i would not challenge her to a foot race. she's in great shape.
asserting the charge that this first lady would be overweight or that she may be out of shape or she has no basis for talking about nutrition when certainly she does and we know she does. i know you've seen her in person. she has a fphysique i can't put myself against. at the end of the day, this is not necessarily about michelle obama. this is about obama derangement syndrome in general. that anything that this first couple does will come with this unwarranted scrutiny. the idea that this first lady can't take vacations when every first lady before has taken vacations with the same security detail, with the same flight arrangements -- >> taken more vacations in some cases. >> taken more vacations as with president bush heading to crawford, texas. so to criticize this presidency over the very same issues that they left unchecked with others, i think reeks of something very
naughty. >> on top of it michelle obama is universally popular, almost. it doesn't work. it seems to backfire on them. >> well, i think that she is the most popular person in washington really if you go through any poll, she's very popular. actually with republicans and democrats. i think a big part of that is the way she spends her time. she is out there with military families. she's out there promoting her let's move campaign. she lets all this criticism go to the wayside and continues to do work that nearly all americans think is important and valuable. i don't think there's really any room to criticize her with the way she uses the office in a way that's there to help most americans if not all americans. i think her popularity is a reflection of that. >> goldie taylor and patricia murphy, thank you both for your time this evening.
by the way, i would challenge rush limbaugh to a foot race. >> i would. shark week "politicsnation" style. that's next. the last four hours... have seen one child fail... to get to the air sickness bag in time. another left his shoes on the plane. his shoes. and a third just simply doesn't want to be here. until now. until right... booking now. planet earth's #1 accommodation site. booking.com booking.yeah
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counting down today's top videos, we start with number three. in the united kingdom. no, no control room. not for that baby. these babies. it's the british world championships of lawn mower racing. and they're off. look at those mowers go. they're flying around that turn battling for position. and here's the big finish. it's number 58. what a race. even the fake town crier loved it. at number two, we go to russia where the big news is president obama canceling a meeting with vladimir putin. it was a big snub, but putin is doing just fine. he wasn't riding horses when the summer break staff actually caught him with a shirt on. yes. he was out fishing.
he's going after the big one. hurry. get that net on him. wonder if edward snowden leaked this video. what a catch. and he celebrated with a big kiss. something tells me president obama won't be calling to congratulate him. and at number one, we stay with the fish theme. america, shark week is back. >> oh! >> but here on summer break, it's pig week. the king of bacon isn't chris christie, it's on this highway in china. those pigs are making it swine street escaping from an overturned truck. this guy tried hard, but he couldn't escape the police. and this police officer wins the worst at his job award.
his colleagues are working hard, but he's just videotaping. i think i know someone who won't be happy about this scene. >> this is bad. the old pork was bad. the new pork is bad. >> and that's today's summer break. my mantra? trust your instincts to make the call. to treat my low testosterone, my doctor and i went with axiron, the only underarm low t treatment. axiron can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms;
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president obama has made a lot of firsts in his career including being the first sitting president to go on late night tv. it lets him get out of washington and speak directly to the american people. in the comfort of their homes. that's exactly what he did last night on "the tonight show." he talked about serious issues including relations with russia. but president obama also showed once again he's comfortable in
the more casual late night format too. >> you told a group of young people that broccoli was your favorite food. now, lying to voters is one thing. lying to children, that's -- that is -- >> let me say this. >> can you put your right hand on the bible and say broccoli -- >> i have broccoli a lot. >> really? >> you can ask my staff. it is one of my staples. me and broccoli, i don't know. we got a thing going. >> really? >> it goes especially well with burgers and fries. absolutely. >> joining me now is "today" show contributor lola oginoki. lola, thanks for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> why is going on "the tonight show" a good strategy for the president? >> historically the president has been accused of being aloof, a little too caught up in the washington politics, a little
too inside washington. it's a great way for him to get into people's homes and reintroduce the president obama that people fell in love with. the one that did have campaign trail. the one that was poking fun at himself. the one that felt like you could have a beer with him. >> even showed last night he could joke about other politicians. watch this. >> okay. >> you and hillary had lunch last week. who invited who to lunch? i'm curious? >> i invited her, and we had a great time. she had that post-administration glow. you know? when folks leave the white house, like two weeks later they look great. >> is it me or did i see a bromance with you and john mccain? what happened? >> that's how a classic romantic comedy goes, right? >> how does this help the president in terms of relating
to the public when they see him joking about his former opponents both in the primary, hillary clinton, and then ended up being his partner in the white house. and john mccain who he ran against. what does that do for the president's image with the average american and the average voter? >> i think it proves to the american public he's not holding any grudges and he's able to reach across the aisle and play ball. he can play in the sandbox. and he's not going to grab his toys and run away. so he's had nothing but glowing things to say about two of his opponents. and both of those battles were very dirty. they got rough. >> that's what i'm saying. does it help when people see it's not personal with him? >> absolutely. you see not only is it not personal, but he can reach across the aisle and say beyond positive things to people who are his opponents. he can speak glowingly about people who are his opponents. it's clear he's moved past any attention, conflict, or drama that may have existed during the
campaign. he's able to embrace these people. >> he didn't only joke last night. he talked about trayvon martin. >> sure did. >> let me show that. >> what i wanted to try to explain was why this was a particularly sensitive topic for african-american families, because a lot of people who have sons know the experience they have of being followed or being viewed suspiciously. what we also believe in is that people, everybody should be treated fairly and the system should work for everyone. so what i'm trying to do is just make sure that we have a conversation and that we're all asking ourselves are there things we can do to foster better understanding. >> how important in a late night tv format to discuss something as serious and heavy as the trayvon martin case and the reaction to it in terms of the
verdict. how important is it to do it in that context? >> i think it's incredibly important. what it proves to the american viewer again is that this is a subject, that this is a tragedy the president has not forgotten about. it's something that he wants people to continue to speak about. and he's going to use a platform like the leno show where he's being seen by millions of people to speak about trayvon martin case. i think it was an incredible moment. and i think it allowed him to let the people know he is empathetic. he is first and foremost a parent. and this is something that affected him deeply. he's a parent and he's a black man living in american society. he addressed both issues head on. i think it was a pretty powerful moment actually. >> lola, i took note at the republicans and right wing attacking him for going on. but after the 2012 election, the rnc said republicans need to get more comfortable on late night tv.
but it used to be a bipartisan tradition. watch this. ♪ >> when you're at a frat party and having fun at yale partying with the boys, were you ever thinking i don't want to have that beer, i might want to run for president. did that ever cross your mind? >> no. >> look. would i rather be on three major networks? of course. but i'm a true maverick, a republican without money. >> but maybe they object to it, lola, because they're just not good at it. they need a sense of humor. >> here's the thing. president obama has what the kids call swagger. and if you don't have swagger -- >> thanks so much for your time tonight. friend or foe, i want to know. reply al is next. being sixteen, alex thinks he's invincible.
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it's time for reply al. remember, friend or foe i want to know. what is one action that you think the average citizen can undertake to help change the policy behind stand your ground and its implications in the system of justice? well, jelani, remembering trayvon is one way. ebony magazine is featuring trayvon's family in the upcoming issue titled we are trayvon. and three others include dwayne wade and his sons wearing gray hoodies and others. let us keep fighting. let us keep standing up. hit your legislators we mails. let people understand we're not going anywhere. and joining the rallies and the marches that stand for that. bob says why in this country ar